New Delhi: In a big setback for India, Italy is becoming a major roadblock in the nation's entry into an elite missile technology group called Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Sources said Italy has stated marines issue as the reason behind blocking India's entry into MTCR.
Italian marines Latorre and Salvatore Girone are facing trial of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012.
According to the sources, Italy expects India to go easy on the marines issue in lieu of support for MTCR.
MTCR is an important platform for India to have access to niche missile technology, space technology.
The US has already assured support for India's entry into the group and a membership of MTCR will give India an edge over China.
In an effort to strengthen global non-proliferation and export control regimes, India and the US had on January 25 committed to continue to work towards India's phased entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the MTCR, the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.
The decision to admit a new partner in the group is taken by consensus. There are high chances that India will become part of this elite group in annual plenary in October.
MTCR is an elite non-proliferation group of 34 countries that controls trade in missile and space technology. MTCR was created to curb spread of missile and unmanned delivery systems for nuclear weapons.